Nepal -Pakistan bilateral meet held in Kathmandu

KATHMANDU: Foreign secretary Gyan Chandra Acharya and Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir today held bilateral consultation meeting on Nepal-Pakistan political and economic relations. They also discussed on the means to strengthen trade and cooperation between the two countries.

The two SAARC members have institutional arrangement for Foreign Secretary level Bilateral Annual Consultation to be held in Ishlamabad and kathmandu alternatively. But the meeting in Kathmandu could have been held due to conflict in the country. Islamabad had hosted the last meeting in 2005.

The meeting dwelt on implementing the memorandum of understanding on trade signed between the two countries. "Both the governments will consult with the experts, Chambers of Commerce in their respective countries to explore the potential for trade. We will finalise action plan and time line in the next meeting to bring the MoU into effect," said Foreign Secretary Acharya.

Nepal exports tea, Pashmina, herbs worth Rs 80 million to Pakistan , whereas leather products, electrical and surgical equipments worth Rs 180 million are imported from Pakistan each year.

"Until the action plan and time lines are drawn, the two countries will participate in the 'trade fair' held in both countries." Acharya said. "The commerce ministries of the countries need to hold meeting to come out with concrete policies that benefit both the sides," he added.

Besides, expanding trade between two countries, the meeting also dwelt on the issues of regional cooperation among the developing countries.

"Pakistan has progressed a lot in exporting agricultural products," said Acharya."We agreed to have various levels and different types of exchange programmes which would further enhance cordial relationship between the two countries,"

He said that Bashir briefed on Pakistan's politics, terrorism and assured control of terrorism in Pakistan. Bashir said that the bilateral meeting has taken Nepal-Pakistan relation to a new height.